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Top 5 Qualities of a Good Buyer

May 30, 2010

1. Be Loyal to your Realtor
If you are working with a Realtor stick with that Realtor. If they aren’t meeting your expectations communicate your feelings so they have an opportunity to remedy the situation. If they don’t improve THEN switch to a new Realtor, but have the courtesy to tell your Realtor your decision.

2. Get pre-approved BEFORE you ask a Realtor to start showing you houses
Only a mortgage broker can calculate what price range you can afford. And it only takes a few minutes to get pre-approved and determine if you have the credit and financial means to buy a home. So show your Realtor some respect and go get pre-approved NOW.

Think about it from the Realtor’s perspective. Is it fair that they take you out to see a dozen houses only to later learn that you’ve just looked at the wrong price range? Or even worse what if you learn that you’re not qualified to buy ANY house? Go get pre-approved and then see listings. And if you’re paying cash, and don’t need a mortgage, have the courtesy to show proof of funds to your Realtor. This can be as simple as printing your bank statement showing you have the necessary funds. If you aren’t qualified for a mortgage and don’t have the cash to buy don’t stoop to wasting a Realtor’s precious time by having them show you homes you know you can’t buy. Realtors aren’t paid by the hour. They only get paid when they close on a transaction.

3. Don’t look at houses you know you will never buy
If you know you need 4 bedrooms why are you asking your Realtor to show you that 3 bedroom home? Or if you insist on a home with a pool don’t ask your Realtor to show you homes without pools. Of course, seeing your options will often impact your desires, but if you KNOW you need 4 bedrooms and a pool have respect for your Realtor and don’t waste their Sunday afternoon looking at property you have no real interest in buying.

4. Reply to emails and calls
If a Realtor has started to work for you respect their time by being open and honest. If they send you listings via email and you aren’t looking at them, for whatever reason, have the courtesy to call or email and explain this to them. Real time and energy are being expended by your Realtor, and once again, this time and energy is being spent without compensation. If they email you and you don’t reply you’ve just been disrespectful. Reply and let them know, “Hey, thanks for the listings and help but we’ve decided to hold off on buying for now.” Let them know to stop spending their limited time and energy working for you.

Or if you are looking at the listings and still interested in buying periodically say so. Reply to emails and phone calls so your Realtor knows they aren’t talking to a wall. All of this might sound silly to even have to say but you might be surprised to know how many emails and calls go unanswered. If you don’t want to work with a particular Realtor or you are stopping or pausing your quest for real estate say so.

5. Invest YOUR time in this process
You’re buying a house not a bike or pack of gum. This is a huge decision and even larger investment. It isn’t effective, courteous or respectful to ask your Realtor to repeatedly show you one listing at a time. All too often buyers ask Realtors to show them a single property, at dinner time, half way across the city, with no respect for the fact that the Realtor is leaving his or her spouse and children for the showing. While it is true that we make our living off of selling real estate, and showing houses is an integral part of the process, it is not effective to look at one house at a time.

If you want to be a good buyer (respectful of your Realtor) schedule a day in advance where you can look at many listings, during business hours, even if it requires you to take a half day off from work. Again, you’re buying a house. This is typically the largest purchase in a person’s life and if it isn’t worth taking a few hours off from work how serious should your Realtor take you? When viewing homes you need to see them during the day and not at 7:30 pm or later when you cannot see the backyard, neighborhood or even interior of the home due to no sunlight or electricity.

IN CONCLUSION…

Your Realtor will work hard for you over an extended period of time. And they only get paid if and when you close. This means everything they do for you prior to closing is an investment of time and energy. Think about your relationship with your Realtor as symbiotic, or mutually beneficial. Realtors are real people with real lives. They aren’t servants. If you respect their time they should respect you in return.

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Tarpon Springs, FL Notary Public

May 23, 2010

notary_signing_imageI’m a Tarpon Springs, FL Notary Public that will come to your home, business or any location you like to notarize your documents. Call Chris today at 727-804-5319 to discuss your notary needs.

The following are some of the more commonly requested documents people need notarized:

  • Power of Attorney
  • Medical Consent Form
  • Living Will
  • Divorce paperwork
  • Consent for Minor to Travel Aboard
  • Certifications
  • Affidavits

When we meet I’ll need to see identification to prove your identity. The following is a list of approved forms of identifications:

  • Drivers License
  • Military Identification Card
  • State Identification Card
  • Passport
  • Resident Alien Card

Whatever you need notarized I can help. Call Chris at 727-804-5319 if you have questions or would like to set up an appointment. I look forward to meeting you soon.

Consider me your Tarpon Springs, FL Notary Public.

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Molly the Motherly Mallard

May 22, 2010

About a week ago I discovered a female Mallard duck nesting in our front yard under a bush. We’ve become close friends, or at least I’d like to think so, and I’m doing my best to keep her safe and comfortable. She goes by the name of Molly. Molly likes cracked corn, cool water to drink, and long waddles on the beach.

Her due date is around June 10th and I’m quite excited. I’ll keep you all posted on her condition because I know you’re on the edge of your seat like I am. OK, maybe you’re not. I’m just an animal nut and I can’t help but to get excited about this opportunity to watch mother nature in action. Unfortunately, mother nature can be a cold, indifferent and ruthless thing so I’m going to try to help Molly as much as possible. When her chicks are born I’m hopefully going to lead them down to the pond at the end of our subdivision, all the while navigating around the storm drains that could easily swallow up her young.

Molly the Mallard's Eggs

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Palm Harbor, FL Short Sale and Bank-Owned Statistics

May 20, 2010

My clients regularly ask for my professional opinion on the Tampa Bay area real estate market. Are things turning around or will prices continue to decline? Should I sell my house or attempt to find a tenant?

This week I was asked about the overall real estate market in Palm Harbor, Florida, and specifically, what percentage of homes for sale are short sales or bank-owned. So I set about to get some data for this client that I’ll now share right here for anyone interested in Palm Harbor real estate. Keep in mind that these numbers represent a snapshot in time and may not apply if you’re reading this post at a much later date.

As a general rule there is an inverse relationship between list price and percentage of short sales and bank-owned properties. As list price increase the percentage of listings that are short sales or bank-owned decreases. I’ve known this inverse relationship exists, just by virtue of being a full-time Tampa Bay Florida Realtor, but today was my first day running the numbers.

Palm Harbor, Florida Short Sale and Bank-Owned Statistics

I ran a series of MLS searches in Palm Harbor in $100,000 increments. Afterall, I’m trying to demonstrate that as price increases there are fewer and fewer financially distressed properties on the market.

$0 – $100k $101 – $200k $201 – $300k $301 – $400k
Total 12  (100%) 154  (100%) 125  (100%) 78  (100%)
Short Sales 6  (50%) 41  (27%) 19  (15.2%) 7  (8.9%)
Bank-Owned 3 (25%) 7 (4.5%) 2  (1.6%) 0  (0%)
Regular 3  (25%) 99  (64.3%) 104  (83.2%) 71  (91%)


I’ve called listings that are not short sales and not owned by banks “regular.” In real estate we often term these as “traditional sales.” The point being as price increases the percentage of homes that are financially distressed decreases. In the table above only about 25% of the Palm Harbor Florida listings priced below $100,000 are NOT in financial distress.

I actually ran the numbers for the next 4 $100,000 price increments and the trend continues to the point where there are virtually no financially distressed Palm Harbor listings at the higher end.

$401 – $500k $501 – $600k $601 – $700k $701 – $800k
Total 46 (100%) 19 (100%) 18 (100%) 4 (100%)
Short Sales 3 (6.5%) 1 (5.3%) 2 (11%) 0 (0%)
Bank-Owned 1 (2.2%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%)
Regular 42 (91.3%) 18 (94.7%) 16 (88.9%) 4 (100%)

 

I hope brief study helps my Palm Harbor buyers and sellers understand the current ratio of traditional listings to distressed property listings. As is obvious I have refrained from commenting on why these numbers might be important to buyers and sellers of real estate. That will be a different post.

* These numbers only pertain to single-family houses and not condos, townhomes, villas, or land for sale.
* I rounded my numbers off and might not have always done so perfectly.
* The numbers don’t always add up to 100% because there are a few other seldom used categories in MLS, such as “pre-foreclosure” and “in foreclosure.”

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Tampa, FL Notary Public

May 13, 2010

notary_signing_imageI’m a Tampa, FL Notary Public that will come to your home, business or any location you like to notarize your documents. Call Chris today at 727-804-5319 to discuss your notary needs.

The following are some of the more commonly requested documents people need notarized:

  • Power of Attorney
  • Medical Consent Form
  • Living Will
  • Divorce paperwork
  • Consent for Minor to Travel Aboard
  • Certifications
  • Affidavits

When we meet I’ll need to see identification to prove your identity. The following is a list of approved forms of identifications:

  • Drivers License
  • Military Identification Card
  • State Identification Card
  • Passport
  • Resident Alien Card

Whatever you need notarized I can help. Call Chris at 727-804-5319 if you have questions or would like to set up an appointment. I look forward to meeting you soon.

Consider me your Tampa, FL Notary Public.

Filed Under Notary Public ·

Palm Harbor, FL Notary Public

May 11, 2010

notary_signing_imageI’m a Palm Harbor, FL Notary Public that will come to your home, business or any location you like to notarize your documents. Call Chris today at 727-804-5319 to discuss your notary needs.

The following are some of the more commonly requested documents people need notarized:

  • Power of Attorney
  • Medical Consent Form
  • Living Will
  • Divorce paperwork
  • Consent for Minor to Travel Aboard
  • Certifications
  • Affidavits

When we meet I’ll need to see identification to prove your identity. The following is a list of approved forms of identifications:

  • Drivers License
  • Military Identification Card
  • State Identification Card
  • Passport
  • Resident Alien Card

Whatever you need notarized I can help. Call Chris at 727-804-5319 if you have questions or would like to set up an appointment. I look forward to meeting you soon.

Consider me your Palm Harbor, FL Notary Public.

Filed Under Notary Public ·

The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Buying a Home

May 8, 2010

Buying a home is the single most important financial move in most people’s lives. It only makes sense to have the most pertinent information available before plunging into this difficult process, especially for first-time buyers. This book covers a variety of buying aspects including inspecting, evaluating, negotiating, financing, contracts, and legal issues. The thorough advice, covering everything from buying houses at auctions to what neighborhood to live in, will provide reassurance for every soon-to-be homeowner.

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